Natural Treatment for Seasonal Allergies
Spring has sprung! And with it comes longer days, cherry blossoms, and numerous other pollens; a delight to many, except those suffering from seasonal allergies. The Canadian Allergy Foundation estimates that 20-25% of Canadians have seasonal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis or hay fever.
While seasonal allergies can occur at any time of the year, spring is often the worst season. Pollen, usually a harmless substance, will trigger an immune reaction and histamine release in susceptible individuals. Antihistamines and decongestants are common practice, but they do not address the root cause of immune over-activity, they only suppress symptoms. Naturopathic medicine offers some excellent treatments to control and treat the root cause of allergies.
Here are a few things I like to consider in all of my allergy patients:
Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is very important for a functional immune system. I have been writing a lot recently about vitamin D and it’s wonderful sleep promoting effects, which is only one of the many mechanisms by which vitamin D improves allergies and the immune system. If you have allergies or any immune issue it is important to test your vitamin D, even if you have been taking D for a long time, to make sure you are in the correct range.
Adrenal function. The adrenal glands produce the important stress hormone cortisol, which has many important actions on the body, including its anti-inflammatory effects. If you have a lot of inflammation, have been under excessive stress, or are better with any steroid medication, it’s recommended to investigate your adrenal function.
Digestion. Optimum digestion is the cornerstone of a healthy immune system. Food allergies, leaky gut, and yeast overgrowth are all common problems that can irritate the immune system. If you are not digesting properly, food can enter the bloodstream in larger than expected molecules (leaky gut) This can affect the immune system causing increased reactivity to normally harmless substances. Interestingly, I have had many patients tell me their seasonal allergies have improved after removing gluten or sugar from their diets. If you are having digestive symptoms and allergies, you may want to consider a hypoallergenic diet and gut healing protocols.
Detoxification. Reducing the body burden of toxins is an effective way to decrease allergy symptoms. We are bombarded with so many unnatural agents we were not designed to process, it is no wonder allergies and immune dysfunction are on the rise. Regular spring cleansing, and just taking a break with our bad habits, is a great idea to support our immune system.
LDA Immunotherapy (Low Dose Allergen Immunotherapy). I have been using LDA for 5 years in my practice, and i find it to the single most valuable tool for treating allergies and an overactive immune system. LDA therapy uses very weak dilutions of allergens and presents them back to the body, to induce tolerance. Commonly used formulas include foods, inhalants, chemicals, strep, yeast and lyme. I find the inhalant mix very effective in treating hay fever, especially when combined with my other naturopathic practices.
If you are experiencing allergy symptoms and would like discuss your treatment options, give our office a call today or book an appointment online by clicking the button below: